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Residents’ Opposition Puts a Lid on Edina Pols’ Pet Project

Edina citizens finally got the city not to put a lid on it. But apparently it took the potential threat to job security that comes on November 6 to convince the Edina City Council to kill an exorbitant, unpopular development project called "the lid." The project's obituary was written up in the Star Tribune. The Edina City Council wants to make one thing clear: Construction of a proposed massive land bridge over Hwy. 100 near City Hall will not be happening anytime soon. At a Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) meeting last week, council members agreed to stop spending money on the Grandview...

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Milton Friedman: Capitalism or socialism, which is more humane?

Collectivist, Big Government policies are being increasingly openly espoused by mainstream politicians. Socialism, that discredited relic of the 20th century, is having 'a moment'. These idea are frequently presented as being more 'fair' or 'humane' than free market capitalism. But are they? In this video below, from 1978, the economist Milton Friedman explains the relative humanity of capitalism and socialism. ...

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Is Minneapolis Park Board’s Toxic Image Hurting Superintendent Search?

It's taking longer than expected for Minneapolis to fill what used to be one of the most highly sought after jobs in the field--superintendent of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. But board members have decided to go full speed ahead on another pressing issue before them. The new commissioners who took over the board last year on a platform for change have made it a priority to give themselves a pay raise--possibly more than double their predecessors' compensation of $12,400 and benefits in what's traditionally been viewed as a public service job. An independent "blue ribbon advisory panel" announced by MPRB...

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Milton Friedman: Judge public policies by their results, not their intentions

According to Milton Friedman, one of the great economists of the 20th century, "One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results". Just because something is called a 'Jobs bill' or an 'Affordable Care Act' does not mean that more jobs or affordable care will be the result. When assessing these policies, we should not look at the good intentions that produced and named them, but at their actual effects on jobs or the affordability of care. In this Newsweek column from October 1982, Friedman lists a number of examples where government...

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MnDOT Demands Another Amtrak Train Despite Big Ridership Decline

MnDOT wants to add a second Amtrak train between Chicago and the Twin Cities. By the front page story in the Star Tribune, you'd likely think ridership on the taxpayer-subsidized passenger line must be on the upswing. Adding a second daily passenger train between St. Paul’s Union Depot and downtown Chicago, a proposal that has been bandied about for many years, would likely cost from $137 million to $169 million. But it’s unclear at this point how the project would be funded, and by whom, says a new study. But the paper left out an inconvenient fact on the campaign underway to double...

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Austin Pushes Businesses to the Brink with Potential 15 Percent Levy Hike

Minnesota's high income and business taxes put our state near the top of the least taxpayer friendly states in the union. But some local tax levy rates can be just as onerous, even in Greater Minnesota. Tonight, for example, the Austin City Council will consider approving a nearly 16 percent hike in the local levy. Much of the burden falls on small business owners, who told the Austin Daily Herald they're already stretched to the breaking point. Randall Fett currently owns 12 commercial properties in Downtown Austin. Some of his tenants include George’s Pizza, Rydjor Bike Shop and Heartman Insurance. And like some...

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Weekend Shootings Last Straw for Minneapolis Craft Brewer

The wild west-style shootouts in north Minneapolis over the weekend killed four and wounded six more. But there's another side to the violence that doesn't appear on the police blotter. Residents so scared and fed up they're moving out before they become a statistic, including a business owner featured on WCCO radio. The Friday night shooting left 42-year-old Steven Fields of Richfield dead on a sidewalk and wounded three others. Another causality of the shooting - Boom Island Brewing Company - whose owner says they‘re tired of the crime and it’s time to pack up and leave. The shooting happened just a...

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State Wants to Raid REAL ID Funding to Fix Botched Registration System

The more things change, the more they stay the same. That should be the tagline for MNIT, the state agency responsible for development and implementation of  the disastrous vehicle and registration system that still doesn't work, despite being tens of millions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule. No wonder some Republican lawmakers want to disband the troubled tech agency once and for all. Now MNIT plans to divert millions more taxpayer dollars from the mission critical REAL ID driver's license program and use it to prop up the failing MNLARS vehicle registration system, according to the Pioneer Press. The likely...

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New Park Board Commissioners’ Proposed Pay Raise Comes Under Fire

Not so fast! That's the essence of the Star Tribune's editorial aimed at the new slate of Minneapolis Park Board commissioners who ran on reform but now want to more than double their own pay now that they're in control. In yet another example of elected officials considering raising their own pay, members of the Minneapolis Park Board have discussed increasing their annual stipend from $12,438 to $30,000 to attract more diverse candidates and reflect the work involved in serving on the nine-member board. In our view, more than doubling pay in one fell swoop would be excessive. But reasonable increases over...

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